Dishtory Preserves Food and Family Memories

New app developed by Toledoans creates audio heirlooms by recording recipes

By Mary Rose Kulczak

It all started with a cookie. Dan Zawisza was hoping to re-create the perfect sugar cookie from his childhood, so he went to the source and called his mother. 

“The inspiration for Dishtory started with a conversation between me and my mother,” Zawisza said. “Looking to share the sugar cookies I remembered from my youth with my own family, I wanted to get her cookie recipe for myself. After a game of phone tag, my mom called me back and left a voicemail describing how she used to make the cookies, and that’s when the concept of Dishtory was born. After listening to the voicemail, I realized I now have this recipe for the rest of my life and in my mom’s voice.”

Photos courtesy of Dishtory

Begin at the beginning

Zawisza, a lifelong resident of Toledo and University of Toledo graduate, contacted Chris Kozak to brainstorm the idea. Kozak, also a Toledo native and UT graduate, knew where to start.

“Chris started from the beginning by saying, ‘We don’t know what we don’t know,’” Zawisza said. “So we went to as many Northwest Ohio resources that we could possibly find. We talked to the Chamber, Rocket Launch and Jump Start to help lay the foundation for the app. In addition, we used local resources like Eastman and Smith for legal help, Front Door Marketing for promotional items, and Double A Solutions for the app’s development.”

Kozak knew that he wanted this app to be something that was accessible to all members of the family while also being user-friendly.

“From the onset, we wanted this to be a multi-generational app, meaning it would be easy for users of all ages regardless of their technological capabilities,” Kozak said. “Additionally, I think Dishtory can help bring families together by sharing memories through meals they remember from years ago.”

From development to debut

Kozak was no stranger to the kitchen. With a family background in the restaurant business, he knew how important it was to record and save recipes that could be passed down. A simple three-button design allows users to record, review and save those recipes with their smartphones.

“The launch has been an exercise in patience,” he said. “Dan and I have been working on this for more than two years, so the launch didn’t happen overnight. We’re very excited to finally share this with the world, and to help everyone start saving and sharing their memories.”

Photos courtesy of Dishtory

Connecting through cooking

Zawisza encourages families to download the app, take their devices to the kitchen, and get to work creating memories.

 “The best way for kids to be included in the Dishtory process is to cook together!” he said. “Parents or grandparents can download the app and work with their children to prepare a delicious meal. Make a video of the adults and children cooking together, walk kids through various steps in the recipe or let the young ones take pictures of the final product. The experience of cooking together is sure to create family memories, and, since the recipe is recorded, those memories will last for generations.”  

The app can be downloaded at Google Play stores, the iOS App, and